Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, pressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday to explain why the agency plans to reduce its aerial surveillance on the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the lawmakers said the cut to a requested 3,850 hours of aerial detection and monitoring in 2016 amounts to 50 percent less coverage than recent years.
“Given the recent surge of migrants from Central America and Cuba along the southern border, we believe DHS should request more surveillance and security resources, not fewer,” Abbott and Cuellar wrote in a letter. The pair also reminded Johnson that in September, Abbott’s office asked the DHS for more aerial resources and U.S. Border Patrol agents but that the request was never acknowledged. A DHS spokesperson said the agency would respond “directly” to the governor and the congressman. FULL REPORT